In the shadows of an unnamed city, the famed archetypes of hard-boiled and hard-worn crime fiction move around secretly. The detective (Drago Sumonja), the damsel (Madison Bauer), the fat cat boss (Johnny Ray Nelson with voice by Hugo Armstrong), and the criminal (Kirk Douglas Kellier) are all after the same case, with differing goals. The detective wants to save the world from eternal darkness, which the boss aims to do, waiting for the criminal, Chameleon, to bring back the case which contains…whatever. It’s claimed that it contains the “key to daylight”, but Hitchcock’s MacGuffin is earning its keep here. Maybe it’s an allegory about the nuclear bomb, or just man’s desire to take what may not necessarily be rightfully his.
These characters and their backstories have been seen long ago and decades before which at first makes “Meridiem” a chore to watch, but also an admirable stylistic exercise. In keeping these characters in darkness and shadows, famous images of film noir glories can be pasted on these characters in our minds. The detective can be anyone, such as Humphrey Bogart, Alan Ladd, Robert Montgomery, Robert Mitchum, or even Jack Nicholson despite the voice given to this character. The dame easily takes the form of Veronica Lake, but see her as any femme fatale that’s preferred. “Meridiem” knows that we know the story, but in being aware that these characters have been around longer than much of the cast and crew, it’s smart to let us dream our own dream here.